Virgil Van Dijk
Virgil Van Dijk

“Nobody Can Really Claim That Title’ - Van Dijk Dismisses World’s Best Defender Talks

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Liverpool defender, Virgil Van Dijk, has played down suggestions that he is the best defender in the world, stating that no player can claim that title.

The Netherlands international has been one of Liverpool's most solid performers since joining the Premier League side in January 2018.

The 27-year-old's consistency and assured displays this season have seen him tipped by many to be crowned the PFA Player of the Year

According to Dietmar Hammann, Chris Sutton and Paul Merson, the Dutchman ranks top on the list of center-backs in the game.

But the Dutchman doesn’t believe anyone can categorically lay claim to that accolade.

"Nobody can really claim that title – it’s just about opinions. We need to enjoy it when players are doing well for their teams and I’m feeling good at the moment,” Van Dijk told The Liverpool Echo.

“Obviously there are a lot of expectations when you come to a club for a record fee but you can’t change that.

“You just need to perform and show it on the pitch and gain respect through that. I’ve tried to do that since day one and it’s been going all right.

“There are plenty of good central defenders around and I enjoy watching them.

“If I watch big games like the Champions League on TV then I’m definitely watching what different center-backs are doing in certain situations.

“When people are talking about you in a positive way, that’s always a good thing, but basically that’s it.”

Liverpool leads the Premier League table with 85 points, two more than their closest rival, Manchester City, although Pep Guardiola's men have a game in hand.

The Reds also hold a 2-goal advantage against Porto in their Champions League quarter-final tie with the return leg coming up on Wednesday.

Van Dijk is, however, more excited than nervous despite the pressure.

“I’m feeling positive. We are in a position right now where anything is still possible.

“You can’t prepare yourself for these situations – you just need to experience it and deal with it, and we have players who can handle everything that we’re going through right now.

“It’s the last month of the Premier League season now and we understand that we have to give even more than maybe we have done already and we’ll see if that’s enough.

“I’m not nervous, no. That’s something I definitely never am anymore. I do get angry at times at myself, and it’s just a reaction because we want to win games and we want to give everything because we work so hard together.

“On the pitch, it is more excitement than nerves. You want to go out there and show the best of yourself to your fans and your family, to perform and do well.”

Happenings Media